Breakfast Workshop: From Surviving to Thriving

It’s that time of year again and the BCC People & Leadership group has been planning a Christmas special just for YOU.

The theme for 2018 was LEADING CHANGE and after 3 great workshops we are putting the theory into practice!

We have a real life example of a Luxembourg company which faced the enormous task of going from being entirely paper-based to fully digital. Bob Kneip will outline the situation that he faced a few years ago and we will walk through the story with him. He will also tell us what went well, not so well and what he learnt about change in the process.

Our presenters will be Donald Venkatapen and Sarah Battey.

Come and join in the story. Work out what you would do in his situation and be rewarded with breakfast and networking.

Register here. We look forward to welcoming you!

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New Trends in Change Management

A great time was had by participants at the most recent P&L group breakfast workshop about new trends in organisational change management. Susanne Arend & Brian Ballantyne led the interactive session. Please see here for the Delano article with a nice summary of what we covered during the session.

Our next session is planned for December 5th – save the date!

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Leading Change in Teams

A great time was had by all who joined us for an interactive session on how to ensure all team members are included when working through changes situations.

For a snapshot of what was covered, please check out the articles published in Delano and The Chronicle.

We were also pleased to welcome RTL to the session who produced an excellent video for their Vox Pops series.

We hope everyone who joined us enjoyed themselves while receiving an insights into team behaviour. We look forward to welcoming you back to our next session in September!

Photo credit: Ian Sanderson

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Tools for Personal Change: Claudia’s Story

During the first P&L group breakfast workshop for the year “Leading Change: Up Close & Personal”, Sarah and Claudia introduced some models that may help you with making sustainable changes in your life.

Today we’d like to share how Claudia has used “Appreciative Inquiry” to help her achieve one of her goals for 2018:

“As long as I can remember, I have struggled with my weight. In the last 10 years, I have fluctuated from being slender to being overweight; from being fit to being a couch potato. I am blessed with a strong body that has good muscle memory and can get fit relatively quickly. I am equally cursed with a body that can put on 20 lbs in no time without me even noticing it.

On December 23, 2017 I returned back from a trip to Portugal in excruciating pain. I had slipped a disc while on vacation: this was not the first time I had experienced back pain. Normally I could walk it off and take NSAIDs for a couple of days. This time was different. No amount of walking helped and the NSAIDs were almost without effect. It took heavier drugs and a muscle relaxer to even get through the day.

In my past, I had suffered broken bones, twisted knees, and all sorts of ailments related to an outdoorsy lifestyle; yet I had always managed to maintain a good degree of mobility.

Not this time: I was almost immobile. Walking the dog, slowly, while being supported by my husband’s arm, felt like an achievement. For the first time in my life, I felt my age. I felt old and weak.

I was lucky: a neighbour recommended a genius osteopath who fixed me in tw

o sessions. He told me that my body had exhausted its capacity to cope – the cause of my problem (which was located in my jaw) had been with me for a while and had caused a chain reaction down my spine.”

For the last 1.5 years, I had neglected exercise. I don’t know what I was thinking (probably nothing), but I clearly remember the day when I decided not to use my rowing machine (for no reason other than not being in the mood) and hadn’t used it ever since.

I had let myself go and now I reaped what I had sown. I knew that I had to change something and make it last.

Using the model of the Appreciative Inquiry, this is what I did:

Discover (what works well)

  1. I knew from past experience that when I exercise regularly, everything falls into place. My sweet cravings (liquorice is my weak spot) cease, I stop overeating, my body reacts gratefully to exercise.
  2. I may be out of shape at the moment but have a solid basic fitness base to build on. I can go for long walks, for instance.
  3. I may not be a model athlete, but I have done different sports in the past and can do them more or less well. I also can get fit quite quickly.

Dream (what the future will look like)

Instead of focusing on 2018, I dream of myself in 30, 40 years (If I am privileged to live that long). I want to be strong and mobile when I am old and not depend on anybody. One of my heroines is the 90-year-old lady who lives in my building. Slim as a willow, straight as a rod, she walks (perfectly coiffed and attired) every day. I once walked home with her from the bus (she’s a fast walker!) and asked her how she stays fit. The answer was simple: she has always walked a lot, has done a lot of 30-40 km hikes when she was younger. Another heroine of mine is a 78-year-old lady I see in the pool regularly. I guess she goes there every day. She rocks her Speedo, and swims her laps without fail. I once told her that she’s an inspiration. That’s who and how I want to be when I am old.

Design (processes that work well)

What did I need to do in future to maintain a healthy fitness regime?

  1. Create variety. In the past, I would only run or only row. Nothing else (except riding my horse, which I didn’t think of as exercise). Running or rowing every day delivers great results but is also (to me) extremely boring. Today, I have a variety of exercises (swimming, running, rowing, riding, walking, functional training) that keep me entertained.
  2. A little is better than nothing. In the past, when I didn’t want to make the time for a run or a row that I would deem “a good workout”, I didn’t do it at all. Instead of running only 2 or 3K instead of 5, or rowing only 20 mins instead of 45, I wouldn’t run or row at all, which always marked the beginning of a steep decline. Today, I am OK with squeezing in a quick session. Moving a little is better than not moving at all.
  3. Have fun! For me, it turned out that running was not the sport that I liked doing every day. In fact, I find running quite hard. I like swimming much better. Find something that you like doing and do it often.

Destiny (take first steps towards your dream state)

  1. Give the goal a positive note: Instead of “I need to lose some weight” or “I need to get fit”, I decided to focus on “move more, get stronger, and remain mobile as I get older”.
  2. Accountability: I have never been a fan of “wearables” for aesthetic reasons, but investing in one (in my case, an AppleWatch – others also serve a similar purpose), and using it, has worked wonders. I had no idea how many calories I burn during an exercise or during a day. By setting an achievable calorie-burn goal (with a weekly increase of 10), I make sure I go the extra mile, on top of my 30 minute per day exercise goal.
  3. Start Today: I had my 2nd and final session with my osteopath on December 29, and December 30 I went to the pool, which I have done once per week as a minimum since. There is no point in waiting to implement positive change, start right away. Do some squats, run on the spot, do something, and do it again tomorrow.
  4. Track and measure your results:  This road is a long one, so it’s great to celebrate milestones to see how far you have come. My first big milestone was swimming 2K, I was immensely proud. The next big milestone was going shopping for clothes two sizes smaller. There will be more milestones in the future (one of them will involve plyometrics, i.e. jumping) – I will keep you posted.

Finally, we are only human! It is only natural that we will come up against hurdles in our change process. Successful change happens, when you can identify possible challenges in advance, and plan how you will deal with them.

  1. Too much, too soon. Like a lot of people, I would overdo it. Running or rowing every day or 5 times a week was simply too much. In order to make cardio-vascular exercise a pleasant experience, the German sports scientist Ingo Froboese talks about a feeling of “subjective underload”. In other words: one should finish the exercise on a high note, with the feeling of being able to do more. “That was a lot of fun! I could have gone longer. Tomorrow, I will go again”.
  2. The pain of starting over again. Following a couple of days of doing nothing, doing something was always painful. It turns out that in as little as two weeks, even professional athletes lose ca. 35% of their strength. So, maintaining an irregular regime made starting again painful. The knowledge of something painful ahead of me, didn’t exactly boost my motivation, which ended in not doing the exercise at all. To avoid the pain of starting over again, I try to do something every day, even if it’s just 15 or 7 or 5 minutes.
  3. Fear of failure. Life happens and there may be days when exercising is difficult or simply not possible. That’s OK and no reason to beat myself up. In order to reach my long-term goal, I simply need to ease back into the routine.
  4. Stop comparing, start aspiring, be kind to yourself. In our performance-driven society, we tend to hold ourselves to high, maybe even unreasonable standards. We compare our performance with friends or colleagues or even younger versions of ourselves. We’re being told that “pushing ourselves” is the only way to a better and healthier life. The psychologist Mihály Csikszentmihály has done a lot of research on what helps athletes reach their state of “Flow”. It turns out that the feeling of Flow is achieved when the task ahead is just a little harder (roughly 7% to be exact) than what they are able to do. So instead of pushing ourselves, let’s stretch ourselves, just a little, and often. None of us will be competing in the Olympics (if you were, you wouldn’t be reading this blog), so the World will not stop turning if today you’re a little slower or can do less repetitions. If you need to take a walking break while running, it’s not as if lightening will strike you. Just finish on a high note and try again tomorrow.

By following these simple steps, you can make change stick in your life as well – how could you Discover, Dream, Design and reach your Destiny?



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June Breakfast Forum: Leading Change – Bringing People With You

“Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much” (Helen Keller) 

When a team faces a collective challenge it requires good leadership to pull it through. In a team you are not alone. The BCC People and Leadership Group invite you to  join us for a fun and insightful breakfast session to explore how teams experience change. We will look at why some team members may readily accept change while others remain to be convinced or resist it. We will give you some insights on how best to lead change management initiatives in a team. This is the second workshop in our Leading Change series for 2018.

What will you learn?

Drawing from real world examples and relevant research we will engage you in a collaborative session. We will explore what is going on when groups of individuals are formed into groups and teams and how they react. We will focus on the things to consider as a leader taking a team through the change process. We will share advice and insights into the leader’s role and the importance of crucial conversations in any future team challenges .

Registration details

The workshop will be held by P&L group members Andrew Notter and Dr Keith Amoss at Badenoch & Clark, Luxembourg. We will begin at 08:30 on 13 June 2018 with registration, networking and refreshments. The session begins at 09:00 and is scheduled to end at 10:00.

We look forward to seeing you! Click here to register.

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What changes have you made so far?

  • Andrew Notter welcoming participants to the BCC People & Leadership breakfast workshop on March 14.

On March 14, 2018, the BCC P&L group hosted a breakfast workshop exploring personal change.

For more details, check out the Delano article or our presentation slides.

Claudia and Sarah will be posting monthly updates on their experiences as they make changes in their lives, and will also share more useful change tips & tricks with you.

What insight from the workshop did you find most useful?

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Our thoughts on International Women’s Day

Driving the diversity debate

For International Women’s Day 2018, the P&L group submitted an article to COBCOE on how British Chambers of Commerce can drive the diversity debate forward.

Click here to read the article.



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BCC Breakfast: Personal Change Workshop

“Change might not be fast, and it isn’t always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped.” (Charles Duhigg)

How many times have you tried to do things differently in your personal or work life, only to slip back into old habits within days or weeks?

You are not alone. The BCC People and Leadership group is here to help. Join us for a fun & insightful breakfast workshop on Wednesday 14 March 2018 to explore how individuals experience change, why we resist it, and how we can make a lasting change impact in our lives.   This is the first of four workshops for 2018 with the Leading Change theme.

What will you learn?

Working from your real-life personal projects we will equip you with know-how and tools, including coaching questions and models of change so that you can approach your future personal challenges in a more productive way. You will even be able to help others with their goals!

Registration details

The workshop will be held by P&L group members Claudia Neumeister & Sarah Battey at Badenoch & Clark, Luxembourg. We will begin at 08:30 with registration, networking and refreshments. The session begins at 09:00 and is scheduled to end at 10:00.

We look forward to seeing you! Click here to register.

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“Leading Change” Breakfast Series in 2018

It’s heading towards the end of January 2018 and many of you have already consigned your New Year resolutions to the shelf. Making changes in our lives can be tough. No worries. We are here to help.

After a successful series of breakfast events last year covering Communication in it various forms, we now change topics. This year the BCC P&L Group plans to guide you through the difficulties of change itself. It could be your personal challenges in changing habits or lifestyle. Or perhaps you are facing unexpected organisational changes over which you seem to have little control.

As before, we will have a series of four regular morning workshops, kindly hosted by Badenoch and Clarke, where we will provide a friendly forum for the open discussion of topical issues. It will be engaging and thought provoking, with coffee and pastry to help the thinking. Our aim is to give you some theory from the academic world and maybe a case study here and there, but overriding all that will be some tips, tricks and practical advice.

We will look at Leading Change from different perspectives, whether as an individual, a member of a team or as an organisation. We will, for example, discuss resistance to change, leading change and handling the results of change.

As regards theory we want to work through the often heard VUCA scenario we are all facing. The term originated from the US military in the 1990’s when trying to make sense of the “fog of war” — the chaotic conditions that are encountered on a modern battlefield. However, its relevance to leaders and people managers in organisations today could not be more clear. We now live in a world which is increasingly “VUCA”:

Volatile: Things change unpredictably, suddenly, extremely, especially for the worse. ·

Uncertain: Important information is not known or definite; doubtful, unclear about the present situation and future outcomes; not able to be relied upon. ·

Complex: Many different and connected parts: multiple key decision factors, the interaction between diverse agents, emergence, adaptation, coevolution, weak signals. ·

Ambiguous: Open to more than one interpretation; the meaning of an event can be understood in different ways.

The BCC P&L Group very much looks forward to another engaging year with you. In 2017 people from all sectors attended our sessions and many said that they kept coming back because of the interactivity and positive atmosphere that was generated. That won’t change.

Whether you are a senior leader in a large corporation in the public or private sector or a one man or one woman band making a difference as a freelancer, it makes no difference. If you have an interest in people and leadership issues, then please join us and share your experiences.

Registrations open for our first event in March very soon!

Keith Amoss

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All About Tribes

  • BCC P&L Group Breakfast Forum December 6, 2017

The P&L group hosted the fourth and final session in 2017 of their popular breakfast workshop series “The Art & Science of Communication” at the premises of Badenoch and Clark on December 6th.

The presenters for this session, Jill Saville, Andrew Notter and Susanne Arend, shared insights on how to build a stronger organisation using communication tools.

The slides for this session can be found here: P&L Communication All About TRIBES_blog.

Thank you to Ian Sanderson for the photos!

Any thoughts or comments, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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